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Stud and Duds: Celtics suffer worst loss of season in Brooklyn 11.22.15 at 9:27 pm ET
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What a difference 48 hours makes.

After crushing the Nets at TD Garden on Friday, the Celtics suffered what may end up being their worst defeat of the season, 111-101 at Brooklyn. Considering the C’s own the Nets‘ first-round pick, the loss is twice as tough to swallow.

The Celtics closed the third quarter on an 18-6 run, trimming a Nets lead as large as 22 in the first half to single digits entering the final frame. The C’s pulled within four in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get over the hump. They never led.

The Celtics started sloppy. Ten of their 17 turnovers came in the first half, and they couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm until the third quarter. But Brooklyn held firm in the fourth, shooting 50.6 percent for the game and outrebounding the C’s 49-35.

Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas both scored 27 points to lead the Celtics. And Evan Turner added 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Brook Lopez (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Thaddeus Young (11 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded a double-double for the Nets, who won for just the third time in 14 games this season.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Isaiah Thomas
Studs and Duds: Avery Bradley, Celtics blow out Nets 11.20.15 at 9:54 pm ET
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For the second straight game, the Celtics grabbed a big first-half lead — only they held it this time.

The Celtics outscored the Nets 68-40 in the paint and shot 58.6 percent from the field, blowing out the Nets, 120-95. The C’s led by 24 at the half (66-42) and opened up a 30-point advantage in the third quarter — their biggest lead of the night. Avery Bradley‘s 21 points off the bench led five Celtics in double figures. Jae Crowder (19), Isaiah Thomas (18 points, 9 assists), Evan Turner (12 points, 7 assists) and David Lee (11 points) also reached double digits.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Jae Crowder.

Crowder found his offense early and often against the Nets. After scoring 11 points in the first quarter, he finished the night with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He also pulled down five rebounds and had three steals.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: Joe Johnson.

Johnson couldn’t find a rhythm and was minus-19 on the night. He finished with three points on 1-of-5 shooting.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Isaiah Thomas
Studs and Duds: Celtics bottle up lethargic Rockets 11.16.15 at 10:37 pm ET
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Brad Stevens has entered unfamiliar territory, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

With their 111-95 victory Monday over the Rockets, the Celtics are now two games over .500 for the first time in the coach’s tenure. After struggling in the first quarter, the Celtics finished outscored the Rockets 87-67 to finish the game. Isaiah Thomas led the way for the C’s with 23 points, while Avery Bradley (21) and Jae Crowder (16) were also in double figures.

The two teams played with polar opposite energy levels. The C’s played with their normal aggression/desperation, while the Rockets looked as disinterested as a prepubescent boy at a middle school dance. The Celtics were extreme active in the passing lanes, which led to a season-high 16 steals. MVP runner-up James Harden was held to only 16 points on 4-of-10 shooting.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

STUDS OF THE NIGHT: Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas.

The pair spread their 44 points across all four quarters. In the first, Thomas carried the C’s, starting the game 4-for-5 from the field with 10 points and three assists. In the second half, it was Bradley’s turn, as he scored 13 points while sitting out the final eight minutes. Both finished 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Thomas actually started over Bradley, who was able to score 21 points in only 20 minutes. Thomas scored a similarly efficient 23 points in 24 minutes.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: The entire Houston Rockets staff, basketball team, record label and crew.

It really didn’t seem like the Rockets ever wanted to win this game. A number of times they neglected to run back on defense. Mike Gorman was personally disgusted and offered his public condolences to Rockets head coach Kevin McHale, who I imagined just shrugged his shoulders and sighed the whole night. The Celtics seemed to win every 50-50 ball and on numerous occasions just ripped the ball out of the hands of Rockets players.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Isaiah Thomas
Studs and Duds: Avery Bradley, Celtics come up short in Indiana 11.04.15 at 10:00 pm ET
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It was not the prettiest evening of basketball Indiana’s ever seen, but the Celtics gave themselves a shot.

That shot was soon swallowed by a stifling defense that left Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley no breathing room on the final possession. Bradley’s 3-point attempt fell well short, and the C’s lost, 100-98. They dropped to 1-3 on the season with a brutal stretch over their next six games: Wizards, at Bucks, Pacers, Hawks, at Thunder and at Rockets.

Thomas led the C’s with 27 points and seven assists, and Bradley added 21 points despite an injured right index finger. Joe Crowder (12 points), Evan Turner (11 points) and David Lee (10 points) also reached double figures. Paul George led the Celtics with 26 points, 10 rebounds and a wide-open 3 that broke a 93-93 tie with 2:13 remaining.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Isaiah Thomas
Avery Bradley injures right index finger late in loss to Spurs 11.01.15 at 8:37 pm ET
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If you knew Celtics guard Avery Bradley sprained his right index finger late in Sunday’s 95-87 loss to the Spurs, you’d think he did it on this devastating dunk that cut San Antonio’s lead to five with 1:40 left.

Bradley left the game with 26 seconds left and the C’s trailing by three possessions, following the team doctor to the locker room. He had the finger set in a splint and his right wrist wrapped before his postgame interview, but didn’t injure it on the rim. He caught the finger on a jersey in the final minute.

‘€œI got it caught in someone’€™s jersey and bent my fingers back,” said Bradley, who scored a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Its just swollen right now. My right hand.’€

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley

The Celtics have the day off Monday, return to practice Tuesday and don’t play until Wednesday in Indiana, so Bradley has a few days to recover. He did not have the finger bandaged when the Celtics initially let reporters into the locker room and he didn’t appear to be favoring it as he prepared for his media session.

Considering the shoulder and ankle injuries that have plagued Bradley throughout his career, you just hope the finger doesn’t become a linger issue that diminishes the progress he’s made under coach Brad Stevens.

“I’ve just been trying to tell myself to be more aggressive, go to the basket stronger,” added Bradley. “When I broke my ankle, I feel like it’s always in the back of my head that I can go and re-injure myself. I just have to go out there and play basketball and not think. … A lot of people forget that that used to be me. I just have to continue to take what the defense gives me and be aggressive.”

Bradley was the lone C’s starter with a positive rating in Sunday’s loss, finishing plus-three in 30:28. After shooting better than 50 percent from 3-point range during the preseason, Bradley hasn’t quite found his groove, shooting 4-of-12 from distance and 37.1 percent overall so far, but his defense has been steady. If he continues to attack the rim and the 3-pointers start falling, he’ll be a game-changer.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, NBA,
Avery Bradley upgrades playoff goal to championship 09.25.15 at 9:23 pm ET
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Among the cliches about taking the season one game at a time, Celtics guard Avery Bradley‘€™s stated goal for 2015-16 stood out during the team’€™s annual media day.

‘€œTo get back to the playoffs and hopefully use all the experience we gained from last year to get further and have a chance to play in the championship,’€ said Bradley. ‘€œObviously, that’€™s our ultimate goal, and we’€™re going to try to prepare so we can get to that level.’€

The championship? Really?

‘€œI feel like it’€™s definitely realistic,’€ added the 24-year-old Bradley. ‘€œA lot of people laughed when I said we were going to make the playoffs last year, and we did.’€

Well, he’€™s got a point there. Believe it or not, Bradley is the longest-tenured player of the Celtics, and as the lone remaining member of the team that reached the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, he should know what it takes.

‘€œI know that I want to take that role to help my teammates become the best players on and off the court,” said Bradley. “I’€™m going to try to speak up more this year. I’€™m definitely going to lead by example, no matter what, but I definitely want to try to be a role model for the younger guys and push them every single day so we can be the best players we can be, so we can achieve our ultimate goal — and that’€™s winning a championship.’€

So, the goal really is winning a championship, then. (As it should be for every team worth its salt, by the way.)

‘€œIf we continue to work hard, anything’€™s possible,’€ said Bradley, who started for the 2014-15 team that got swept in the first round. “If you buy into what the coach is trying to do and this Celtics culture, I feel like anything is possible and we can definitely have a chance to make it to the championship if we do those things.’€

 

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, NBA,
J.R. Smith compares Avery Bradley to Kobe Bryant, and not in a good way 04.20.15 at 2:58 pm ET
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Granted, Sunday’s game between the Cavaliers and Celtics was questionably officiated, but J.R. Smith hardly has a case he didn’t deserve all four of his fouls — and maybe even more. But that didn’t stop the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year from complaining.

So, apparently Smith thinks Avery Bradley is getting superstar treatment, which is … interesting … since the Celtics guard attempted all of zero free throws, and Smith somehow still managed to complain after trucking Kelly Olynyk like a linebacker.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, J.R. Smith
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